SMART may be a familiar acronym for talking about goals. It is not new, nor unique to the work of Multi Agency Teams. Research over the years supports that SMART goals are effective for achieving desired results. The SMART acronym here is borrowed from the literature on strategic planning. SMART Goals are Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic and Time-Bound. Each term is expanded on in SMART Goals graphic. Note that SMART is determined by considering all Goal Components together. Collectively, the Goals in your Team’s plan describe what needs to change in order to realize the Vision. Each Goal individually depicts one piece of what needs to occur.
Here are some examples and non-examples of each term in the SMART acronym. Note that these are not ‘exemplars’ but intended to illustrate just one aspect of SMART at a time.
- Explicit to how things will look, feel, operate differently once the goal is achieved
- Clear responsibilities for all involved in implementing the plan
- Understandable to the wider group of stakeholders who are involved and / or impacted
Youth should work
A statement of a belief, but not specific as to the difference desired
Youth will have at least 1 authentic work experience in the community while in high school
Specifically identifies the intended change in practice as a strategy within a Goal
- Incorporates baseline and data to monitor progress
- Provides a foundation for data based decision making
- Include precise amounts, dates, etc. to use for measuring increments to successful attainment
Provide training to area providers
Does not define who will be trained, how much or how many trainings
Provide training on customized employment to at least 50% of area providers
Sets an amount for which data can be gathered to know when the target has been met, exceeded or missed, as a Progress Benchmark
- Stated in the "affirmative"
- Written using action verbs
- Describe unambiguously the action to be taken
The Implementation Team ought to meet regularly
Expressed as a ‘hope’; not stated as an absolute intention
Establish a regular schedule for Implementation Team meetings
A clearly stated action, as a strategy within a goal
- Ambitious, but not reckless or unreasonable
- Often the "inverse" or opposite of a challenge, issue, barrier, or concern
- Challenging yet attainable and sustainable
- Goals that "raise the bar" bring the greatest satisfaction.
100% of youth will have a full-time career job in the community upon graduation
A desirable but unlikely a reasonable expectation
Increase by 50% the number of youth who have at least 1 authentic work experience in the community while in high school
Defines clearly with data the parameters for success that raises the bar, but seems within reach to use a Progress Benchmark
- A defined end point that allows enough, but not too much time
- Differential timelines for different goal areas arranged in a logical sequence over time
- Deadlines that convey when success can be celebrated
- Deadlines that create a productive sense of urgency
Increase the knowledge of teachers, SSAs, and OOD counselors about how to do Backwards Planning
No information about when or for what duration efforts to increase knowledge with take place
Increase the knowledge of teachers, SSAs, and OOD counselors about how to do Backwards Planning during Year 1
Defines the time period when this will occur – timelines may be further defined for each strategy under this goal.